Ecuador presents anti-tax havens plan

March 20, 2017

Ecuador presented its commitment to fighting against tax havens at the United Nations by underscoring how tax dodging by the elite profoundly affects the economy of the majority of the world’s population.

Ecuadorean Foreign Affairs Minister Guillaume Long introduced a plan to "advance together in a global agenda for fiscal justice" at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March13.

"Tax revenues are the most predictable, stable and important source of resources available to states to finance the protection of human rights," said Long.

"Corporations and wealthy people who avoid their obligations to pay taxes participate in denying the human rights of others with every school that is not built, every medicine that is not bought for lack of funds, because the state doesn't own the necessary financial resources.

"We can't allow the practices of tax evasion and the tools used for it to continue to build an unjust economic system designed to enrich a small minority at the expense of the great majorities. It's time to end these practices."

On February 19, Ecuador became the first nation in the world to pass a plebiscite to ban public officials from having assets or capital in tax havens.

With the approval, all public servants and elected officials will have one year to bring offshore capital back to the country or face being removed from office.

Ecuador's wealthiest have hidden as much as US$30 billion in tax havens, affecting the national economy, according to President Rafael Correa.

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]